Student beats tuition costs, guarantees career with ROTCSuperior High School senior John Nowicki not only found a way to pay for four years of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but guaranteed himself the career of his choice once he graduates.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
Superior High School senior John Nowicki not only found a way to pay for four years of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but guaranteed himself the career of his choice once he graduates.
Out of 10,000 applicants nationwide and 220 applicants for Madison alone, Nowicki was one of seven chosen for the campus’ Reserve Officers’ Training Corp.
The Army ROTC Scholarship he receives gives him more than $9,600 annually toward tuition, an annual $1,200 book allowance plus a monthly stipend starting his sophomore year that ranges from $350 and climbs to $500 in his senior year. The total package is worth more than $45,000 toward his education, said Army Col. Tonia Mahnke.
“It’s kind of like a part-time job,” Mahnke said.
The Army ROTC looks for people who excel in academics, athletics and leadership, and Nowicki’s attributes in all three made him a good candidate, Mahnke said.
Nowicki said he started the application process at the end of his junior year.
“I’ve always wanted to be a military officer,” Nowicki said. “My grandfather was 24-year Army officer. My dad’s a SWAT officer for the police department so the Army’s always kind of been in my blood.”
Nowicki, who plans to major in geological engineering at UW-Madison, plans to serve as combat engineer in the Army. His college minor will be in military sciences.
“The Army has a pretty dire need for engineers right now,” Nowicki said.
Nowicki said while the money is great to have to apply toward his education, there are other benefits that are even greater after he graduates.
“The money is a great deal, definitely,” Nowicki said. “The best part to me is … as long as I keep my physical fitness scores up and grades up, I have a spot open for me as an officer. And, to me, that’s the best part of it. That’s the best deal.”
Mahnke said a few years ago, the Army was looking for people, and meeting the minimal standards would get someone into the Army. That’s not the case anymore.
“Now, with the draw down and budget decrease, it’s totally different,” Mahnke said.